Breathing Room: Scripture for Sept. 16

II Samuel 22:1-7, 17-20
David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

He said: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of perdition assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me, the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.

He reached from on high, he took me, he drew me out of mighty waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me. They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Mark 6:30-33
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
Questions for reflection or comment:
1. We all have an idea of what the Protestant work ethic is; what would a Protestant rest ethic be like?
2. What nurtures your inner life?

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Sartain
Executive Minister

About PlymouthSpirit

Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. We are spiritual, loving, relevant and transforming.
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One Response to Breathing Room: Scripture for Sept. 16

  1. Alan D. Hughes says:

    Centering Prayer

    Centering Prayer continuing, 9:30 a.m., Sundays, Fireside Room, Plymouth Congregational Christian Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Diane Boruff and Jan Mattox lead.

    For centuries, contemplation was the goal of Christian prayer. In the Christian tradition, it is considered a pure gift of God, as it is the opening of mind and heart—beyond thoughts and words—to the presence of God. Rather than an intellectual exercise, sitting in silent prayer leads to “resting in God” as Gregory the Great expressed it at the end of the 6th century. In the 21st century, our hearts still long to draw closer and to rest in God’s presence.

    Centering Prayer is a method and discipline designed to promote contemplative prayer. Each Sunday, there will be helpful instruction and then we will pray in silence. After the prayer, there will be time for discussion.

    This ancient Christian spiritual practice of meditation allows us to draw closer to God and to know God in our daily lives. In this age of media overload and busyness (a “fruit” of the Protestant work ethic?), it is refreshing to add the joy of silent prayer to daily life.

    Today meditation is widely recommended by medical professionals to promote mental health and well-being. With modern (fMRI) machines, neuroscientists have now documented the beneficial changes in brain activity and body functions such as blood pressure that occur during meditation. Science is now catching up to the knowledge that the mystics have experienced for ages. While in prayer one goes inward, the “fruits” or blessings of the prayer are revealed in daily life.

    Praying in silence with a group deepens the experience and adds a dimension of community. Having come to deep interior peace, one is rested and ready to go into the world to serve in love.

    Dare I say, one is ready to go back to the Protestant work ethic.

    All are welcome to join in centering prayer.

    Source: Plymouth Congregational Christian Church Website (with minor editorial changes)

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